The sound of art

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How do you make an old painting come to life? Turns out the answer is an obvious one, you just add music.

The National Gallery has a special audio guide called Sounds of the Gallery – ten musicians have used paintings as inspiration for compositions, written to be listened to as you look at the painting. It was an incredible transformation. The paintings they had chosen were not to my taste, but listening to the music made them fascinating, emotional and told a story.

It inspired me to create my own National Gallery painting playlist. So click on the links below, to listen and look.

1} Look at The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (1833) by Paul Delaroche while listening to Week Off by Malcolm Middleton

2} Look at A Wheatfield, with Cypresses (1889) by Vincent van Gogh while listening to Believer by Goldfrapp

3} Look at Perseus turning Phineas and his Followers to Stone (1680) by Luca Giordand while listening to Hearts Have Turned to Stone by Elton John & Leon Russell

4} Look at The Baptism of Christ (1450) by Piero della Francesca while listening to Never Let Me Go by Florence and the Machine

5} Look at Madame de Pompadour at her Tambour Frame (1763) by François-Hubert Drouais while listening to Made by Maid by Laura Marling

6} Look at An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768) by Joseph Wright ‘of Derby’ while listening to Make Light by Young Lyre